USA researchers reveal single-step technique to produce aluminium wire, rod and tube parts

According to a recent report, researchers at the USA’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has demonstrated a single-step production technique called ‘friction extrusion’ to produce aluminium wire, rod, and tube parts from aluminium powder.

According to them, this would specially benefit the specialised aerospace applications, where cost is not a limiting factor. A typical process of producing wire, rod, and tube parts from aluminium powder involves a lot of energy and multiple steps, such as loose powder loaded into a can and gases removed using a vacuum, followed by the can to be sealed, hot pressed, pre-heated, and placed into the extrusion press and then the can to be removed to reveal the extruded part made from consolidated powder. But this new technique eliminates all these long-drawn processes and simply extrudes nanostructured aluminium rods directly from powder in a single step, using PNNL’s Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion technology, or ShAPE™. “The elimination of both the processing steps and the need for pre-heating could dramatically reduce production time as well as lower the cost and overall embedded energy within the product, which could be beneficial for automotive manufacturers who want to make passenger vehicles more affordable, lighter, and fuel-efficient for the consumer,” said lead researcher Scott Whalen, a materials scientist, in a statement. (AlCircle .com, June 19, 2019)